Return. Recover. Reimagine.
After a year of pandemic, teachers want to be in their classrooms, and they want to bring their students with them. And they want to do so safely.
A Safe Return
Since April 2020, our union has been fighting for a safe return to in-person instruction at the national, state, and local levels. The American Federation of Teachers published a plan for reopening school buildings safely. Texas AFT launched a COVID-19 tracking website before it was clear the state would do so. Local unions in Texas school districts launched safety committees and advocated for improved mitigation efforts like rapid testing and adequate PPE.
And after months of lobbying state leaders to prioritize K-12 school employees for COVID-19 vaccines, our efforts were heard and realized by President Joe Biden.
While vaccines are widely available to adults and children older than 12, we know some in our communities remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to this disease — including our youngest students.
We think the classroom is the best place for kids to be right now, but we want to make sure they’re safe and their families are comfortable.
If you’re unsure or nervous about sending your child for in-person instruction, we want to hear from you on how we can help ensure a safe return. Fill out our quick form, and we’ll connect you with support in your area.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a long, traumatic period for students, families, educators, and communities. It also has exposed inequities within our schools and our communities.
Our students need immediate support for academic, social, and emotional recovery (as do our school employees), but they also need long-term investments in school services.
That’s why our union and its members:
- Fought this spring to ensure billions in federal COVID-19 relief funding went directly to public schools
- Have called on districts to use those funds for investments in safety measures and infrastructure, as well as support for students’ academic, social, and emotional recovery
- Continue to advocate for the community school model with wraparound services and support
Reimagining the Future
Returning to in-person school isn’t the end — it’s the beginning. We don’t want to just return to “normal.” We want to create a new normal. We demand the opportunity to do so.
Our children deserve the freedom to thrive, in and out of the classroom. A safe, equitable, fully funded school experience is the foundation for that.
We won’t get to that reimagined future with decision-making driven by standardized test scores, white-washed curriculum, and unchecked school privatization. That’s why our union fights tooth and nail to build power at the local, state, and national levels for public education.
Building an equitable future for public education will take all of us: educators, support professionals, students, families, and communities. If you would like to help in this fight, please fill out our form to be connected to support team members in your area.
Are you an educator or public school employee in Texas? Consider joining our union of nearly 66,000 of your peers statewide today.